NYC Top Comedy Choices for Wednesday 12/4/13

December 4, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Reglis Philbin

TV icon Regis Philbin is among the guests at Running Late With Scott Rogowsky…

ABC TV Comedy Auditions

…and 11 NYC stand-ups try hard to make you laugh and impress TV scouts at the free show ABC TV Comedy Auditions

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[FREE] 7:00 pm to midnight: Five free hours of improvisation at The PIT upstairs theatre: Super Free Wednesday

7:00 pm to 12:30 am ($7 for the entire evening): Five and a half hours of improv from eight groups at The Magnet theatre: Magnet Megawatt

7:00 pm ($5): Christine Holt & Mary Guiteras tend bar for a living, then let off steam by performing improv at The PIT downstairs lounge where they unleash the secrets they’ve heard, and also host storytelling from tonight’s guests Ashley Ward and TJ Mannix: Bartenders

7:30 pm ($5): Expanding the UCB longform improv showcased on Harold Night is this weekly show at UCB East which tonight features house groups Hotspur and Wobin Rilliams: Lloyd Night

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 8:00 pm (free cover & no min. online using discount code ABC): Eleven NYC stand-ups do their damndest to make you laugh in front of ABC TV scouts who are “looking for the next comedian to appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live, guest star on ABC shows, and work alongside Robin Roberts on Good Morning America” at The Stand Comedy Club (239 Third Avenue & 20th Street): ABC TV Comedy Auditions

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($10-$14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include Jeff Ross and Gary Gulman at the 8:00 show, Kevin Meaney and Nikki Glaser at the 9:45 show, and Kurt Metzger and James Smith at the 11:30 show, with all shows at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Wednesday

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm ($25 at the box office or $28 online): UK-based Daniel Kitson is one of the sharpest and most respected writer/performers alive. This is a rare opportunity to spend an intimate 75 minutes with a true genius of comedy. Based on his previous productions, this is probably a sprawling, detail-packed theatrical show, not stand-up. If you’re up for something different, though, any performance by Daniel is not to be missed. And beyond the script, it’s always worth experiencing his lightning-quick flashes of humor. For example, at a performance of a different show in 2011, a woman sitting in the front row had the incredible gall to start reading. Daniel sweetly responded, “Ooh, that’s a subtle yet effective form of criticism. I’m certainly not cross with you, just too nosy about what you’re reading to plow on. Look, you’re still reading. What a lack of faith you have in live entertainment…” Place your faith in Daniel and nab tickets before they sell out for this production running every day except Mondays from November 22nd through December 21st at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse (38 Water Street): Analog,Ue

8:00 pm ($5): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, “a sketch show sensitive to audiences’ growing, extremely legitimate phobia of spoilers. These six ensemble sketches range from Jesus to Ghostbusters, but—don’t worry—these topics and any relevant references will be announced before the show, so no one has to hear anything they don’t want to. No spoilers!” written by Caitlin Bitzegaio, directed by Caitlin and Beth Appel, and starring Caitlin, Natasha Rothwell, Lauren Adams, Matt Fisher, Tim Dunn, Michael Hartney, and Dru Johnston: Spoiler Alert: This is a Sketch Show

…and in the other half of this double-bill, “Aaron & Brian lead their lonely friend Erik on a surreal, nightmarish odyssey to ‘get his dick wet.’ Elderly lesbians, impromptu Fosse numbers, dueling Katherine Hepburns, and the ominous Old Valley are all pit-stops on this journey to happiness, or at least maybe getting laid,” written by and starring Aaron Jackson, Erik Dies, and Brian Glidewell: Erik Dies, You’re Stupid and We Hate You

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Erik Bergstrom (cartoonist/author of Grimmer Tales, The New Yorker, blogger for Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012), Claudia Cogan (Last Comic Standing, MTV, Logo, here! TV), Sean Donnelly (David Letterman, MTV), Sara Tollemache, and Jake Young performing stand-up at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jay Dean: In The Garage

[FREE] 8:00 pm: NYC stand-ups do sets “and then have a discussion about what’s going on in the world and the mysteries of life” at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City, hosted by Chris Laker: The Show

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($15): TV star Regis Philbin, Lizz Winstead (Comedy Central Presents, The Daily Show, Air America), and more being interviewed at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway, off 95th Street): Running Late With Scott Rogowsky

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($5; final show!): Superb improvisors—and actual brothers—Will Hines and Kevin Hines make use of their intimate knowledge of each other to gracefully invent scenes (hopefully without any squabbling) at UCB East performing as duo The Brothers Hines

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Al Jackson (Comedy Central Presents, Last Comic Standing, John Oliver’s NY Stand-Up, Upload with Shaq, MTV), Adam Lowitt (Co-Executive Producer of The Daily Show), Andy Hendrickson (David Letterman), Chelsea White (VH1, producer of MTV’s Girl Code, TLC, co-host of What Else and Call Us Crazy), Dave Siegel (Comedy Central), Jeff Maurer (blogger for The Washington Post), Jeff Cerulli (director of Hungry starring Takeru Kobayashi), and Jay Nog (AMC’s Movie Date Night) performing stand-up at this free weekly show at Antler Beer & Wine Dispensary (123 Allen Street) produced by Kyle Fincham, Lance Weiss, and Brendon Fitzgibbons: Gandhi, Is That You?

9:30 pm ($5): At the UCB Chelsea theatre, Jordan Klepper (The Stepfathers, MTV’s I Just Want My Pants Back, IFC) and Russ Armstrong (30 Rock, MTV’s Failosophy) demonstrate they’re superb comedic performers in this two-man sketch show about men who fail and/or regret. I wish the guys had worked with a tough editor to make the writing uniformly stronger; but there are enough solid bits, and strong comic acting throughout, to make this worth catching: Guilty Bystanders

…and in the other half of this double-bill, Michael Hartney and Justin Tyler, the hosts of Characters Welcome, perform “a collection of their most fantastic original characters” directed by Brandon Gulya: Ten Men

9:30 pm ($5): Sketch comedy group Awful DJ (Bill Grandberg, Cory Cavin, and Josh Lay) hosts this variety show at The PIT downstairs lounge: Awful DJ

[TOP PICK] 10:00 pm ($5): The instructors of UCB’s classes include some of the finest improvisors in the country. In this weekly show a bunch of them get on stage at UCB East, along with hosts Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis: Hot for Teacher: The UCB Faculty Show

[FREE] 10:00: NYC stand-ups performing at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City as part of the Reddit.com online community, hosted by Adam Lash (HBO, Showtime, The Daily Show) and/or Nathan Anderson (Uncoolio): /r/standup

[TOP PICK] [FREE] 11:00 pm: The wonderful Sasheer Zamata (rapidly rising star; ABC’s Would You Fall for That?, Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, FX’s Totally Biased, MTV’s Hey Girl, Apple Computer commercials; improv groups Doppelganger and Bucky) and Charla Lauriston (MTV; host of Free Cable) host as many as a dozen guests packed into 75 minutes performing stand-up, improv, sketch, and occasionally acts that defy categorization. The level of talent can vary wildly, but for some (like me), that’s part of the laid-back fun; plus it’s a lovely opportunity to experience these superb hosts in an intimate setting. (Tonight’s scheduled guests haven’t been posted yet, but please check for an update here.) Come support the experimentation, and periodic magical surprises, that this uniquely organic rollercoaster of a weekly show at UCB Chelsea makes possible—and don’t forget to toss $1 in the bucket on your way out: School Night

Wednesday Open Mics & Jams

5:00 pm ($5): Two-hour open mic for 20 stand-ups performing for 5 minutes each, with sign-up online here, at the Stand Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street): Stand Up NY Open Mic

[FREE] 5:30 pm: A character-based open-mic happening weekly at UCB East hosted by Sean Hart: Don’t Be Yourself: Character Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 6:00 pm ($1): Open mic for both stand-up and sketch, with sign-up starting at 5:30 and ending at 5:55, at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Brian Frange & Rob Stern: Frange & Stern’s Stand-Up and Sketch Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up for 15 comics performing for 5 minutes each at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.)—with drinks at half price: Happy Hour Open Mic

[FREE] 6:00 pm: Open mic stand-up providing 5 minutes per comic at Queens LIC’s The Creek upstairs theatre hosted by Benel Germosen: Cracking It

6:00 pm (no cover, 1 drink min. for both comics and audience members): Open mic stand-up providing 5-7 minutes per comic, running 2 1/2 hours. Arrive 30 minutes before the show to get on the signup sheet. This is a fine opportunity to perform at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club Open Mic

6:30 pm (no cover, 1-drink min. for comics): Walk-in open mic providing 7 minutes per stand-up at the Phoenix Bar (447 East 13th Street) hosted by Lisa Harmon: Lisa’s Clubhouse

7:00 pm ($2, which includes a free beer or water): Open mic stand-up providing a whopping 10 minutes per comic. Email PhoningItInMic@gmail.com with subject line Phoning Wednesday to sign up; or take a chance at lottery sign-up live between 6:45 and 7:45 at Brit Pack Studios (153 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor) hosted by Lizzie Martinez: Comics Phoning It In

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Open mic stand-up running until 1:00 am, with time divided evenly between performers (up to five minutes), at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City with host Rob Stern: Bucket ‘O Buckets

[ALMOST FREE] 11:00 pm ($1): Biweekly open mic stand-up, with each comic getting an unusually long 6-10 minutes, at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by James III & Jamie LeeLo: Hump Day

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your opportunity to perform on the stage of UCB East with improv veterans, hosted by UCBT Harold Night house group Bucky and DJ Cipha Sounds: The Improv Jam

[FREE] 11:00 pm: Your chance to perform on stage with experienced improvisors at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Bernard Maynore & Patrick Cucuta: Improdome

[FREE] 11:30: Sign up at 11:00 pm for the opportunity to make up scenes at The Magnet with group Brick: Magnet Improv Mixer

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$15)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)

The Stand
(239 Third Avenue; recent competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Carolines Comedy Club
(1626 Broadway; focuses on the world’s top headliners, who perform hour-long sets; 2-drink min.)

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, specialty & lineup shows weekdays; 2-drink min.)

Eastville Comedy Club
(85 East 4th Street; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Greenwich Village Comedy Club
(99 MacDougal Street; convenient if Comedy Cellar’s sold out; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.